Initially, this appears to be a variation of the Where’s Wally? books. However, as you make your way through the story, you realise there is a very significant message behind the fun. Dominated by illustration, the three questions that form the text- Where’s the elephant? Where’s the parrot? Where’s the snake?- are enough to drive the story.
The opening spreads show the reader a lush forest, rich in collaged trees. In this setting, you search for snake, elephant and parrot. However, by the third double spread, the reader notices a few trees have been cut down in the bottom left hand corner. As their habitat is reduced to a single tree, surrounded by houses, the animals end up in the zoo, before escaping to a new land.
This is such a clever way into discussions about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, animal habitats and deforestation. Children instantly understand the problem that the animals face- and who has caused it- although (like many of us) they don’t understand why it is allowed!
So much work could come from this book in so many forms- debate, drama, discussion writing, persuasive writing, report writing, recount writing, explanation writing, research, science, geography, history… and the art possibilities! This would be a very exciting, inspiring book to introduce to children.
A beautiful, moving, powerful book- perfect for enjoying as a story and for the starting point for so much more!
Sent for review by the publisher.
Egmont ISBN: 978-140527648